We monitor indicators such as Total Fertility Rates (TFR), Wanted Fertility Rates, Contraceptive Prevalence Rates, men's contraception use as a percentage of total contraception use, Informed Choice in using contraception, Unmet Need for Contraception, Non Use of Contraception and Emergency Contraception. We believe that contraception is not only an issue of access to health services but of women being able to decide on the number, timing and spacing of the children they bear.
The political will of the state is crucial to prevent maternal mortality and morbidity, which violate a woman’s right to life. Safe pregnancy is essential to every woman’s right to life and dignified well-being. Ensuring access to a full-range of contraceptive methods will help shift focus to women’s needs. The low numbers of male sterilization and condom use reflect gender power imbalance of both pregnancy prevention and disease prevention.
Cultural and gender norms about roles and values of men and women in sexual relationships and perceptions about male and female sexuality all play a key role in these low rates. It may also be important to remember that the DHS deals with married women, and condom use within a marriage may also signify a lack of trust between partners, and hence, has a different value associated with it in the responses that women may have given to their surveyors. Male involvement, as equal partners, in decision-making on reproduction needs to be encouraged.